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The Blessing of Humility: Walk Within your Calling
“A life of humility is not an option for a believer to choose or reject. It is a command of God,” writes the late Jerry Bridges. The Beatitudes “are a description of humility in action”: The humble person is pure in heart and is a peacemaker. Bridges is convincing as he shows the beauty of humility, convicting regarding our tendency to lack humility, and encouraging about how God loves to help His people grow. In the final chapter, “Humility and the Gospel,” Bridges shows that our humility can never surpass our understanding and reliance upon the gospel.
The Temple and the Tabernacle: A Study of God’s Dwelling Places from Genesis to Revelation
J. Daniel Hays
The Temple and the Tabernacle is a brilliant and fascinating work. Understanding the Temple and Tabernacle—the roles they played, the ways they were made, their function in worship, and the differences between them—illumines the Christian faith. Hays brings out the unity of Scripture as he takes us from the Garden of Eden to the Tabernacle constructed amid wilderness, and then to Solomon’s Temple and the Second Temple—and then the New Testament teaches that because of what Jesus did, the multiple layers of separation (courtyard, holy place, most holy place) are gone, so we can draw near to God.
Eight Women of Faith
Michael A.G. Haykin
This collection of historical vignettes introduces eight significant Christian women and reveals the unique contributions they made during their lifetimes. Among them are Lady Jane Grey, Ann Judson, and Jane Austen. Haykin’s goal is “to remind contemporary Christians, especially evangelicals, of the vital role that women have played in the history of our faith.” He describes these women in relation to their husbands—when they had husbands—and also highlights their own deep faith and desire to serve the Lord and His people.
Married for God: Making your marriage the best it can be
In Married for God, Christopher Ash writes: “We ought to want what God wants in marriage. … God’s why matters more than my why.” For that reason “you and I need to ask God what he wants and then line up our goals behind his, rather than expecting him to line up his goals behind ours.” Ash addresses baggage, outlines three purposes for marriage—procreation, faithfulness, and order—and includes a chapter on God’s plan in singleness. By the end, he has offered a straightforward, deeply biblical, and countercultural description of the purposes, challenges, and joys of marriage.
Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience by Melanie Kirkpatrick (Encounter, 2016) explores the history, customs, and little-known aspects of this uniquely American holiday. She offers a fascinating look at the way the holiday has changed through the centuries. As a Thanksgiving fan, Kirkpatrick dug up facts, debates, and even historical recipes to encourage greater appreciation of the holiday.
In Pride and Profit: The Intersection of Jane Austen and Adam Smith (Lexington Books, 2015), economists Cecil E. Bohanon and Michelle Albert Vachris argue that “Jane Austen is channeling Adam Smith in her stories and characters,” and particularly the Adam Smith of his Theory of Moral Sentiments. The book lays out briefly Smith’s moral philosophy and traces elements in Austen’s novels: self-command in Sense and Sensibility and vanity in Persuasion. The authors remain agnostic on whether Austen read Smith or merely absorbed common ideas of the age. —Susan Olasky